tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC September 23, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
>> that is going to do it for us. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for watching. we appreciate your time. tonight on "world news," on a tear. waving the koran, the president of iran hurls accusations about 9/11 and americans walk out. on the record. republicans announce their plan to take back congress. on the phone. as health care reform kicks in, we test your insurance company. will it really give you what the new law promises? and, living on. a mother hears a heartbeat. it is one of the most moving stories we've ever seen. good evening. holding a bible and his koran, accusing americans of trying to burn the truth, the president of iran made charges that were incendiary even for him today.
the americans in the room at the united nations got up and walked out. president obama's earlier offer of resumed dialogue was rebuffed. so, what does this mean for the u.s. attempt to curb iran's nuclear ambitions? jake tapper was following all this drama today. good evening, jake. >> reporter: good evening, diane. well, ahmadinejad made comments promoting conspiracy theories about 9/11, and a white house source tells abc news president obama found those theories deeply offensive, and all the more inappropriate to have been made so close to where the world trade center once stood. in his speech to the united nations today, president obama underlined that he wants to end the conflict with iran through peaceful means. >> the united states and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with iran. and the door remains open to diplomacy, should iran choose to walk through it. >> reporter: but just a few hours later, the iranian president seemed to slam that door shut.
president ahmadinejad questioned the facts about the 9/11 attacks, referring to a coverup. he said most people believe that "some segments within the u.s. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining american economy, and to save the zionist regime." israel. it was at this precise moment that the u.s. delegation and others walked out. the u.s. mission to the u.n. issued a statement saying "rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the iranian people, mr. ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable." ahmadinejad also referred to, quote, the ugly and inhumane act of burning the holy koran. presumably a reference to the florida pastor who had planned a "burn a koran" day earlier this month. ahmadinejad held up a koran, and a bible, saying he pays respect to both of them. >> don't let the blustering confidence fool you. ahmadinejad is in a lot of
trouble back home domestically. it's just an attempt by ahmadinejad to change the subject, to change the focus from him and his stewardship of iran to issues that he's much more confident talking about. >> reporter: administration officials insisted today's tirade is irrelevant. that the u.s. and other countries continue to pressure iran to come clean about its nuclear program and end its suspected nuclear weapons program. and diane, president obama will tomorrow morning give an interview to bbc persia, which airs in iran, and it is anticipated that he will take on ahmadinejad's comments head on. diane? >> well, jake, thank you. and as you have been reporting, this is the day significant changes in health care insurance go into effect in america. and, today, we got to listen in on a phone call president obama talking recently to gail o'brien, a cancer patient in new hampshire, who is now able to get health insurance. >> hi, gail? >> hello. >> how are you? >> i'm doing really well, thank
you. this is an honor. i want to thank you so much. >> and across the country today, people were on the phone to their own insurance companies trying to take advantage of the new rules. so, elisabeth leamy set out to see if the insurance companies are ready. >> reporter: insurance company phone lines were burning up today. >> experience a brief delay. >> reporter: as people tried to get information about their new health care options. we got on the phone, too. i heard that today i could add my 25-year-old child to the plan? that's your right, starting today. the cost at one health plan we reached, a rate hike from $130 a month to $182 a month. a 40% increase. as of today, new plans will have to provide preventive care like mammograms without charging a deductible or copay for them. is it really free, this preventive care or won't premiums be higher? >> yeah, i think in the short-term, we do understand that premiums will go up a bit, because we get some new
protections and some new coverage. >> reporter: experts estimate premiums will go up as much as 3%. so, a family of four, paying $1,000 a month, would pay an extra $30. also starting today, insurers can't deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. but they can charge them more than they do healthy kids. with a child with a health condition, it's going to cost more, maybe even 100% to 200% more. the obama administration insists costs will eventually come down. >> some of the features, while, may have a brief cost at the front end, actually save lots of money in the long-term. >> reporter: starting next month, you'll be able to see actual health plan pricing at the government's innovative healthcare.gov website. elisabeth leamy, abc news, washington. and six weeks before the november elections, republicans including those who want to repeal health care reform, have pulled a page from their old playbook, hoping to repeat their
insurgent victory at the polls in 1994. their mid-term manifesto is dubbed the pledge to america, and jon karl has been digging through it. jon? >> thank you speaker boehner! >> reporter: outside the lumberyard, a group of tea partiers presented would be speaker of the house john boehner with a tea kettle. inside, the republicans presented their plan. >> our pledge to america is that the republicans stand ready to get it done and beginning today. >> reporter: it's an echo of newt gingrich's contract with america, unveiled on the capitol steps in september 1994, just before republicans won control of congress. the biggest difference? clothing. no ties this time around. and venue. a lumberyard, not the capitol steps. the republicans made a point of getting outside the capitol beltway to unveil their new pledge. but they didn't get that far outside. in fact, the capitol building itself is just about 20 miles
away in that direction. the agenda includes a litany of things republicans have been talking about for a long time. from extending the bush tax cuts to repealing the health care law to slashing government spending, including the roughly $250 billion in unspent stimulus funds. >> government is out of control in washington. >> reporter: but this is hardly a tea party manifesto. the 45-page document includes more photographs than specifics on spending cuts. no mention of controlling social security or medicare. no mention of eliminating any federal departments. not even a promise to eliminate earmarks or pork barrel spending. there aren't enough cuts in this thing that i see that get anywhere near balancing the budget. >> well, look, i think people that are evaluating the pledge to america should understand that it's designed to be a good start. >> reporter: and republicans hope a good campaign tool, too. jonathan karl, abc news, sterling, virginia. later this evening, virginia
is set to execute a woman in a case that raises fundamental questions about who gets the death penalty and who does not. teresa lewis admits she's guilty. so, why are so many respected people saying this execution is wrong? jim sciutto is outside the prison in jarratt, virginia. >> reporter: teresa lewis has confessed to a cold and calculating crime, asking her lover and a friend to kill her husband and stepson to collect a $250,000 life insurance policy in a jailhouse interview with cnn, she pled for forgiveness. >> i just wish i could take it back. and i'm sorry for all the people that i've hurt. >> reporter: but complicating the case, lewis did not pull the trigger. the men who did only got life in prison. and crucially, court-appointed doctors found she only had an i.q. of 72, just two points above the legal minimum for execution in virginia. a duke university psychologist who examined her concluded teresa's functional mental age is in the range of 12 to 14
years. rallying to her cause are novelist john grisham, justices sonia sotomayor and ruth bader ginsburg, who voted to stay her execution. and thousands on the web. for the victim's daughter, all the focus on lewis is just one more crime against her family. >> she could have walked away from my father and never looked back. and i think people need to remember her victims and not her. >> reporter: in an internet video by her supporters, lewis sings for a final miracle. ♪ i need a miracle >> reporter: but with her appeals exhausted, her fight will end here, inside this death chamber. lewis spent her final day with her family and her minister. they've left now, and the victim's families have arrived. and diane, they'll be among the witnesses to her execution. >> jim sciutto in jarratt tonight. and today, a drug implicated in tens of thousands of heart attacks and deaths over eight years, was finally restricted by the fda. and it happened because of one
crusading doctor. so, what does this say about the safety of the other drugs on our shelves? lisa stark sought answers. >> reporter: the battle against the diabetes drug avandia has been long and hard fought. leading the charge, dr. steve nissen, a cardiologist at the cleveland clinic. >> people have been asking me, don't you feel vindicated? and this is not about personal vindication. it's about doing the right thing for patients. >> reporter: it was dr. nissen who first raised the alarm about avandia in 2007. he found it increased heart attacks by 43%. the fda had approved the drug eight years earlier. what was the agency's response? >> i became their enemy for challenging a drug's safety. >> reporter: the battle lines were drawn. the drug maker and some at the fda insisting avandia was safe. dr. nissen insisting it wasn't. >> it means a lot of people are going to be put at risk here. >> reporter: ultimately one fda researcher determined the drug may have caused as many as
100,000 heart attacks, strokes and deaths. despite today's victory, nissen says the war is not won. >> i will sleep better tonight, but i will not sleep until i know that we've improved the way we handle these kinds of problems in the united states. we've got to fix the fda. >> reporter: fixing the fda, says nissen, means a wholesale change. no longer should the same people at the agency who approve a drug be the ones to decide if it gets pulled off the market. it's a conflict of interest. >> we must fix those flaws, or we will have further problems like avandia. >> reporter: which nissen calls one of the worst drug safety tragedies in our lifetime. lisa stark, abc news, washington. and still ahead on "world news," a 26-year-old gives away $100 million. and, you had a big reaction to our "world news" investigation. tonight, we ask, do gang members make more on teenage girls than they do on drugs?
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coding problem. and, today, the young force behind facebook, mark zuckerberg, is making headlines all his own. he's already a billionaire. and he said today he wants to help the schools in newark, new jersey, to the tune of $100 million. here's john berman. >> reporter: city of newark, you've just been friended on facebook. the $100 million pledge from facebook founder mark zuckerberg could have a huge impact on an education system where 46% of students fall to graduate high school. but who is mark zuckerberg? the 26-year-old kid with a grown-up checkbook, and no direct ties to newark? he's the young man who created the social networking site with more than 500 million users, from his harvard dorm room. >> there's an enormous sense of pride. >> reporter: he's the young man who is now number 35 on "forbes" magazine's list of richest americans. higher than apple ceo steve jobs. and he's also clearly a man who
understands timing and perhaps diversion. his announcement tomorrow on "oprah" comes the same day as the release of the new feature film, "social network," which depicts him as ruthless. >> your actions could have perm innocently destroyed everything i've been working on. >> we've been working on. >> reporter: was he foreshadowing the timing of the announcement when he spoke to us this summer? >> people don't care about what someone says about you in a movie. they care about what you build. >> reporter: whatever the motivation, his gift is a milestone in philanthropy, rivaling donations from bill gates, 28 years his senior. >> now we have people who are barely old enough to shave giving their millions away. >> reporter: he is a young man in a hurry. >> what's your favorite non-work day? >> non-work day? >> reporter: you have any? >> what's that? >> reporter: busy working for good, working the system, or both. john berman, abc news, new york. >> and you can see more of my interview with mark zuckerberg and get a behind the scenes tour of facebook headquarters at
abcnews.com/worldnews. and another note in the news today about "sesame street" and what is and is not too racy for children. what do you think? the ground-breaking children's show decided not to air this segment with pop star katy perry. >> come on, elmo. don't you want to play? elmo! >> perry, singing a due wet with elmo in a piece posted on youtube, but after complaints over the amount of cleavage she was showing, "sesame street" decided no. and still ahead, you reacted strongly to our "world news" investigation, and we have more tonight about young girls and the sex trade. [meow] desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium,
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♪ to know, know, know you after this we're gonna get ice cream. can we go get some ice cream? yeah. ♪ and i do ♪ and i do ♪ and i do and now, the second part of the "world news" investigation we first brought you last night about young american teenage girls in portland, oregon, from good families, targeted at the mall and caught in the sex trade. your reaction was powerful, and tonight, we return, with sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: you're watching a sting operation. >> hey, how are you doing? come on in. >> who is in there? >> police. >> reporter: undercover police call a prostitute they suspect is underage to a portland motel, hoping to rescue her. >> this isn't you, is it? >> reporter: it turns out the girl is 23. but she admits the pictures she used to sell her services are of a teenager.
because everyone who works these streets knows the younger the girl, the more money she can make for a pimp. michelle alston started prostituting at age 13. a cute young 16-year-old will make, if you had to guess, in a night? >> about a good $600. >> reporter: how much would go to their pimp? >> all of it. >> reporter: and that is why young girls are now in high demand. being targeted by pimps at shopping malls, schools and on the internet. police say gang members have realized it's often more profitable to traffic girls than drugs. >> there are a lot of criminal gangs that are getting involved in this, because they realized this is a commodity that can keep making them money. >> reporter: drugs they can only sell once. girls they can sell over and over again. each one bringing in about $20,000 a month. alston says when she realized there was so much money to be made, she made what she calls a business decision. so you decided to become,
essentially, a female pimp. at what age? >> 14. >> reporter: michelle convinced more than a dozen girls to work for her. do they think it's going to be glamorous? >> yeah. when you approach someone on doing this, you don't say, like, you know, there's going to be a guy who calls that's 210 pounds and, you know, he wants to lay on you. you don't approach them like that. you approach what they get out of it, clothes, jewelry, cars. >> reporter: do they get, clothes, jewelry and cars? >> some. >> some. how many? how much? and what happens? >> reporter: well, most of them don't see a penny. and that pimp, michelle, actually went to prison for three years. but most of them don't because most of these girls are underage and they're too afraid to testify. >> incredible reporting these last two nights. thank you. and, when we come back, after the break, could you bear to hear the heart of a child you lost? parents with a story of life. it is unforgettable.
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about what it means for those on both sides of this choice. >> reporter: two women, two mothers, eternally connected. >> just trying to find a new normal without having the missing piece of our five-piece puzzle. >> reporter: tara and todd storch lost their 13-year-old daughter taylor in a ski accident last march. since then, an aching dream. >> hearing taylor's heartbeat. that's really what i've wanted since the very beginning, is to find who has her heart. and have a connection with that person. >> reporter: that person is patricia winters, married to joe. she's a nurse. at age 40, just a year younger than tara. her heart started failing five years ago, after the birth of her second son. >> i felt like i wasn't going to last very long. >> reporter: transplant alliances are super cautious about telling recipients who their donors are. but using the internet, friends found out in just hours.
patricia was anguished. >> well, knowing she was just 13, that was hard. but seeing taylor's picture, it just gave me that sinking feeling even more. >> reporter: so, patricia reached out. and on a 110-degree day in the desert, the storches came to see patricia. the storches say they came here because they had to. their daughter may be deceased, but her heart lives on in the valley of the sun. heart to heart, for almost a minute. >> i know this is -- we should probably talk, but i need to hear her. >> reporter: always prepared, patricia retrieves her nurse's stethoscope. >> tell me if you can hear it. >> it's so strong. >> oh, yeah. >> she is very strong. >> i want him to hear it, too. >> reporter: parents hear their
daughter's gift, the sound of life. in chandler, arizona, gary reeves for abc news. >> and for all of us here at abc news, good night. tonight san bruno pipeline explosion. are there management problems inside pg&e? they'll be footing the bill to find out. >> should global warming laws be suspend -- suspended?.
>> and sad, but true. you might have to bring your own toilet paper next time you visit certain state parks. a late state budget means california can't afford to buy anymore of this. >> and a bay area autograph hound with thousands of signatures. a unique collection that may throw you for a curve tonight. >> good evening. a break through on california's long overdue budget. >> the state has gone 85 day was out a plan, the longest delay in california history. late today in a meeting the governor and leaders of the legislature agreed on framework of a budget deal. >> and nannette miranda is live in sacramento for us tonight with the developments. >> well, it appears the longest state budget impass ever is almost over. california is approaching it's 4th month into the fiscal yea